CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson will compete in a major college golf tournament for the third consecutive week when Jordan Byrd’s Tigers play in the Calusa Cup at Calusa Pines Golf Course in Naples, Fla. this coming Sunday through Tuesday. The teams will play 18 holes per day April 3-5. It will be Clemson’s final regular season tournament before play starts at the ACC Tournament April 22.
Clemson is one of nine teams in the field that includes seven of the top 25 teams in the nation according to the latest College Golf Coaches Poll and the latest Golfstat rankings.
Leading the field is the unanimous No. 1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners. However, they might be without their top player according to the latest PGA University rankings as Logan McAlister, No. 4 in the that rating, will compete as an amateur in the Valero Texas Open this week.
The field also includes top 25 teams from Georgia (8), Georgia Tech (11), Florida (16), Wake Forest (17), and Purdue (23). Clemson is ranked 19th by Golfweek, 22nd by Golfstat and 24 by the Golf Coaches Poll. The other teams in the field include Iowa, the host school and Marquette.
Clemson will be led by senior Jacob Bridgeman, arguably the hottest golfer on the college scene over the last three weeks. The native of Inman, S.C. has moved from 13th to ninth in the latest PGA University rankings after recording three consecutive top four finishes. That includes medalist honors at the Linger Longer when he won by a Clemson record tying six shots with a 16-under-par score of 200, and a third place finish at the Valspar when he shot 11-under-par 202 against a field that included 20 of the top 100 players in the nation according to Golfstat.
Bridgeman has a 70.62 average for the year, but has a 68.22 figure for his last nine rounds. His 70.80 career stroke average is second in Clemson history, trailing only current PGA Tour player Doc Redman (70.70). Bridgeman needs just two rounds in the 60s to break Bryson Nimmer’s career record of 46.
Kyle Cottam will return to the Clemson lineup after missing the Valspar as he competes in the Canadian Tour Qualifier in Arizona this week. Cottam has a 72.57 stroke average for the year and is a veteran of 43 tournaments, 10 where he has finished in the top 10. He is currently 43rd in the latest PGA University rankings.
Colby Patton gives Clemson a third golfer in the top 50 of the PGA University rankings, as he is rated No. 39 this week. Clemson, Texas and Oklahoma State are the only schools with three players in the top 50. Patton has a 72.19 stroke average for the year, second on the team. He captured co-medalist honors at the Wake Forest Invitational at Pinehurst #2 in early March.
Zack Gordon was the co-medalist with Patton at that tournament and is a fourth senior in the Clemson lineup. The native of Gaffney, S.C. has a 72.83 stroke average this year with year with four under-par rounds and a pair of top 10 finishes.
Freshman Kian Rose rounds out the lineup with a 73.10 average for the year. He had a 12th place finish at the Nexus Collegiate in February and finished strong at the Valspar with rounds of 70-71 for his final 36 holes.
Live scoring will be available on golfstat.com.